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Naples neighbors sound-off on the city’s plans for Gulf Shore Blvd.

The City of Naples wants to rip up and widen Gulf Shore Blvd. to improve stormwater piping for its beaches, but that means the area could get a new look. Neighbors in Naples are mixed on the plan.

It was a packed house with passionate neighbors who wanted to make sure Naples city leaders heard what they think about plans to rebuild Gulf Shore Blvd.

“I believe the plan would destroy its character in nature,” David Mastran said.

“It’s going to look just fine,” Rich Housh said. “It will look beautiful.”

The reconstruction to replace storm piping will also create an opportunity to add bike lanes, which is something Housh said is necessary.

“I think the bike lanes would make it dramatically safer for families and just normal people that want to bike,” Housh said. “That’s my main concern is safety for cyclists.”

But, many others who live along the picturesque boulevard said the stack of petitions is proof people do not want the city to widen the road. They do not want to disrupt the charm they currently enjoy.

“It would destroy the very character that makes Naples unique,” Mastran said.

“I just feel like it’s going to be so dangerous,” Kathleen Sanfilippo said. “It’s already dangerous, but it’s going to be even more dangerous.”

City leaders listened to both sides make arguments all Tuesday afternoon. Then, they reminded everyone what they said the project is about. Naples leaders did not say when they will decide how to rebuild Gulf Shore Blvd.

“This project is about water quality,” said Ray Christman, a Naples city councilman. “It’s one of several ways we’re going to move toward cleaner water and better stormwater management in Naples.”

Reporter:Breana Ross
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